The Los Angeles Lakers were short-handed at practice on Thursday with the recent news that Ronnie Price is likely out for the season after surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs and bone chips. Additionally, swelling in Nick Young’s left knee kept him out of activity for a fourth consecutive day.
The Lakers were in good spirits after a hard-fought victory against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, their second consecutive win, and first on the road this year. However, plenty of disgruntled Lakers fans were unhappy with the win, citing that each victory decreases the Lakers chances for landing a top-five NBA draft pick this summer. Lakers head coach Byron Scott addressed this idea at practice on Thursday after admitting he took a look at the comments on his Instagram account from fans for the first time this year.
We’re not trying to tank games, that’s absurd,” Scott said after practice. “For the first time all year long, I went on my Instagram and saw what some of the fans were saying and I said you guys are ridiculous. To think that’s how we want to play…we’re going to try to win every game. We’re trying to build a culture here.”
Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson had the best game of his rookie season in a career-high 22 points performance, on 10-16 shooting, while also adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Clarkson has talked an awful lot about feeling like he’s always played with a chip on his shoulder, and Lakers big Ed Davis says Clarkson is proving that he should have been picked much higher in last year’s NBA draft.
He’s proving to everybody that he should have been a first round pick, [even] a top pick,” Davis said about Jordan Clarkson.
The Los Angeles Lakers face the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. In their last meeting in Milwaukee, the Bucks defeated the Lakers, after sending the game into overtime. Davis says the Lakers haven’t forgotten about that, and will be looking for “payback” on Friday night.[divide]